Support Save Leith Walk

Suppport Save Leith Walk

Over the Festival period I’m doing my bit to support Save Leith Walk. Namely donating 10% from all print sales over the Festival to the campaign.

If you got here from my guerilla advertising? Consider taking a look over in the shop; Or checking out the portfolio links in the menu.

The block under-threat is known locally as the “New Shops”. Although, it dates back to when Leith Central Station was a busy hub – not an excuse to call a book of short stories ‘Trainspotting‘.

Regrettably the block is now in the hands of property developers and their City of London financiers. They’re out to make millions turning it into another soulless chunk of student accommodation. Money the local economy will see virtually none of. Except for the University of Edinburgh. Obviously they’ll be delighted to be filling it with fee-paying postgraduates desperate to have “Masters from Edinburgh University” on their CV. Despite some media reporting an MBA is “a waste of time and money“.

Why else would the University be offering to take a fivetwenty* year lease on a building before it even has planning permission? It’s extremely rare for the City of Edinburgh Council to refuse planning consent backed by the University; regardless of local opposition.

* [CORRECTION: The University are actually taking a 20 year lease on the student flats. Maybe by the end of that time there might be bits of Edinburgh University in Leith, there aren’t any I’m currently aware of.]

In the meantime, Drum Property Group are boarding up premises they’re unwilling to even offer short-term leases on. Sadly, and perhaps deliberately, making the block an eyesore. Unsurprisingly, they’re begging for “Community Art Proposals” as part of their – ahem – ‘Community Engagement’.

Regrettably this sort of ‘Artwashing‘ is likely all-too-familiar to anyone who’s seen gentrification in action.

[UPDATE] The Planning Application has now been submitted. The first word of the summary is – unsurprisingly – “Demolition“. There are 118 associated documents – making this a monster to properly oppose.

Other Leith Walk artworks.

Because it’s where I live, I’ve several pieces featuring the threatened buildings; plus other places on, or near, Leith Walk. You’ll find a few below.

Where Leith Walk becomes Elm Row, you’ll find Joseph Pearce’s bar. It’s a friendly pub, displaying some of my artworks. Regrettably I can’t offer a full 10% donation to Save Leith Walk on those; just on the prints – not the framing.

Drop me an email should you be interested in arranging a meeting there for a peek at my portfolio. Alternatively, you can catch me at Leith Depot. Going there helps support Save Leith Walk.

Other ways to support Save Leith Walk.

If you want to know what’s going on you could follow the campaign on twitter or Facebook. Both will alert you to fundraising gigs, stalls at local markets, or merchandise being sold to support the campaign. Unsurprisingly, there also a petition regarding the proposed demolition. You’ll find copies in many of the shops on Leith Walk.

Naturally, the best way to support Save Leith Walk is using the businesses facing loss of premises. Especially Leith Depot. You’ll find they’ve live music on most nights; obviously they’re going to be a bit lonely when all the other leases in the block expire and everything else is boarded up.

Admittedly, nobody expects Festival tourists to be buying from the Bed Shop. That’s a local shop; for local people. 😉

Guido

Where's the gunpowder? It's for a vintage flash, ... Honest!

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